Who doesn't love pineapples? Well, for instance, I don't like the acidic taste of this tropical fruit. N's nephews and niece, and my niece are also averse of eating pineapple (they dislike almost all fruits). Even the black grapes loaf cake, that I made earlier, failed to impress them and they refused to even taste it. My niece has already told me that she doesn't like the addition of fruit bits to cake batter and has forbade me from making cakes other than vanilla or chocolate flavor. But for this cake I have bend the rules.
Long back, we had ordered a special pineapple cake for one of my colleague's birthday and it was deliciously light. Even though I don't like eating raw pineapple, the taste of that cake lingered on and I was etching to make it. So along with Kerala style rum fruit cake, this was our Christmas special dessert and gift.
This recipe is adapted from Delicious magazine. The pineapple pieces are caramelized and then added to the cake tin. But if the fruit is very sweet and you don't mind the slightly acidic taste, then it can be added as such, without caramelizing. I made slight changes in the original recipe by adding orange juice instead of lemon juice. The vanilla essence was substituted by pineapple essence for a rich flavor. I also added milk to adjust the batter consistency. It is not necessary to add coconut, but the addition of shredded coconut elevates the taste.
Caramelized pineapple upside down cake with coconut recipe:
Recipe adapted from Taste.com.au
1 small ripe pineapple, peeled and cored
250 gram unsalted butter, at room temperature (200 + 40 gram)
1 cup caster sugar
2 - 4 tbsp granulated sugar (adjust according to the sweetness of pineapple)
3 large eggs
1 tsp pineapple essence
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 -3/4 cup milk (adjust according to the batter consistency)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 170C / 150C fan-forced. Grease and flour a 20 cm cake tin. I used a bundt pan.
Cut the pineapple into four wedges, lengthwise and then thinly slice the wedges, crossways.
To a sauce pan, heat 40 gram unsalted butter and 2-4 tbsp granulated sugar on medium high heat. Add then pineapple pieces and cook them on both sides till both sides are nicely caramelized. Arrange the caramelized slices, along with the leftover sauce on the base of the greased cake tin. Let it cool.
Cream the remaining butter (200 gram) and sugar (1 cup caster sugar) till fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one by one and then the orange juice and pineapple essence. Whisk till everything is well-combined. Don't beat the eggs too much.
To another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Stir in the desiccated coconut as well. Add this mixture to the above made wet ingredients in two batches, alternating with milk and gently mix together. Once everything is added, beat the batter twice or thrice using an electric mixer on the lowest setting, so that it is well-combined.
Pour the batter evenly over the caramelized pineapple pieces and gently tap the cake tin on both sides to remove air bubbles. Bake for 45-55 minutes till a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then turn out into a serving dish or cake stand and let it cool completely. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. This cake stores well and tastes even more delicious on the next day.